The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, October 26 (7:30 p.m.)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Warner Bros., 1962)
Bette Davis stars as Jane Hudson, a demented and aging former movie star, who holds her paraplegic sister Blanche (Joan Crawford) captive in a decaying Hollywood mansion. Directed by Robert Aldrich, part macabre psychological thriller, part black comedy and part camp, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? quickly entered into the American pop cultural lexicon. The perceived and perhaps exaggerated rivalry between the two stars in their only film together was, at least in part, responsible for the film’s success and it inspired the highly-rated 2017 FX mini-series Feud.
Friday, October 27 (7:30 p.m.)
Hammer Horror Double Feature
Taste the Blood of Dracula (Hammer Films/Warner Bros., 1970- R-rated *)
Christopher Lee reprises his role for the fourth time as Count Dracula, now seeking to take revenge on the businessmen who killed his faithful servant. A sequel to highly successful Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, this film begins with the climactic scenes from the 1968 feature and picks up from there. Weary of the role, Lee demanded and got a higher salary from Hammer Films and even went on to play the count twice more. First time feature director Peter Sasdy handled well the film’s high production values despite a fairly low budget, with attractive sets and cinematography injecting style. James Bernard’s score supplied an additionally lush and even romantic feel. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Crescendo (Hammer Films/Warner Bros., 1970 – Rated PG)
Stefanie Powers stars in this British psychological thriller as an American girl who goes to the south of France to do her thesis research on a recently deceased composer. Directed by Alan Gibson, the film also stars James Olson and Margaretta Scott. The film was originally released on a double bill with Taste the Blood of Dracula.
Saturday, October 28 (2 p.m.)
Hocus Pocus (Disney/Buena Vista, 1993 – Rated PG)
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy star as three sister witches who are resurrected in Salem Massachusetts on Halloween night. Kenny Ortega directed this PG-rated fantasy comedy. The film was nominated for five Saturn Awards including Best Fantasy Film and Best Actress for Bette Midler. Hocus Pocus has achieved cult status over the years due to annual record-breaking showings on the Disney Channel ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween.
Saturday, October 28 (7:30 p.m.)
Hush …Hush, Sweet Charlotte (20th Century-Fox, 1964)
Following the unexpected success of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), director Robert Aldrich looked for another property in the same vein for the stars of that film, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, and found it in a short story by Henry Farrell who had also written Baby Jane. Davis was cast as Charlotte Hollis, an aging, reclusive Southern belle who is plagued by a horrifying family secret. A visit from Miriam, a cousin she hadn’t seen in years, becomes the impetus for Charlotte’s descent into madness. The famous feud between the two stars soon led to Crawford not showing up on the set. She was fired, Davis suggested her good friend Olivia de Havilland for the part. After much cajoling from Aldrich, de Havilland agreed. Hush …Hush, Sweet Charlotte was another box-office hit and it received seven Oscar nominations.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.